Janet Jackson ‘to Only Wear Black’
Janet Jackson is reportedly planning to wear black until the one-year anniversary of her brother Michael’s death. The Grammy-winning singer, who performed a tribute to the late King of Pop at the MTV Video Music Awards earlier this month, has been shopping for black outfits to wear until June 25, 2010, reports The Sun. A source said: “As a mark of respect she has decided to only wear black clothes to express her grief, and she has had to go on a number of shopping trips to find suitable items to wear.” The insider explained 43-year-old Janet has decided to mourn the legendary singer’s death in this way for 12 months, adding that in June next year “her time of reflection will come to an end”. (Continue Reading…)

Mattel Introduces Black Barbies with ‘Authentic Features’
Barbie is getting some new friends. Mattel announced Tuesday that it is launching a line of black dolls with more “authentic facial characteristics” than the company’s dolls have featured until now. The dolls, which are part of the “So In Style” line have “fuller lips, a wider nose, more distinctive cheek bones and curlier hair,” according to the world’s biggest toymaker. Mattel said its new “So In Style” line is intended to “celebrate the diversity of African-American Girls and encourage positive themes.” (Continue Reading…)

BET, MTVN Unveil Centric Network for African-Americans
BET and MTV Networks quietly soft-launched Centric, a new basic-cable network aimed at African-American adults, on Monday. Both programmers are owned by Viacom. BET J (formerly BET on Jazz), which boasts nearly 32 million subscribers, has been rebranded under the Centric moniker. Programming focuses on music and lifestyle. BET J has deals with such key distributors as DirecTV, Time Warner Cable and Cablevision Systems. Centric is handled by MTV Networks’ affiliate-sales team, but otherwise it is run by BET. The new network will take aim at Comcast/Radio One-owned TV One in targeting 25-to 54-year-old African-Americans. BET and MTV are not planning any major marketing campaigns for the channel until 2010. (Continue Reading…)

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